The headstone of a California Highway Patrol officer that was stolen in the fall has been replaced, the CHP reported.
John Pedro's grave marker was stolen in early October from the Santa Cruz cemetery where he was laid to rest. The Watsonville High grad was killed in an on-the-job crash in 2002.
The headstone was replaced by Randy and Janet Krasson at Santa Cruz Memorial and Bob Mattos of Bras and Mattos Monument in Hayward, according to CHP officer Sarah Jackson, a spokeswoman for the agency.
“The thoughtfulness and compassion shown to us through this ordeal by individual members of the Santa Cruz community, as well as the Krassons and Mr. Mattos has been genuinely heartening," CHP Capt. Matt Olson said in a prepared statement.
The headstone was replaced in late November. No arrests were made in the theft investigation.
The theft was not the only time a memorial to Pedro has been defaced. A 6-foot-tall redwood cross built near the site of Pedro's fatal crash was stolen in 2005 and the highway sign was repeatedly damaged by vandals in 2005 and 2006, just months after it was installed.
At the time, there was speculation that the highway sign was the target of vandals because of a pop culture connection. The 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite inspired "Vote for Pedro" and "Pedro for President" stickers and T-shirts.